Category Archives: Books

Novel Review: The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu

“Ambush!” Ming turned and shouted behind them. “Ambush!” he raised his gun and shot the two lead riders in quick succession, their riderless horses running out from underneath them and galloping panicked onward (85).

A Chinese-American railway worker, accompanied by a blind seer, heads across a magic-realist old west seeking revenge and hoping to reunite with his wife.

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Novel Review: A Desolation Called Peace

Arkady Martine’s debut novel A Memory Called Empire received multiple award nominations and won the Hugo for best novel. The first in a series, it was followed in March of 2021 with this novel, with more of the conflicts and intrigue involving the future Teixcalaanli Empire, the “barbarian” human settlements in its environs, and some very interesting extraterrestrials.

The more you explore your reality, internal and external….

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Novel Review: Afterland

“You can’t imagine how much the world can change in six months.”

Lauren Beukes has established a name as a writer who crosses literary, SF, and other genres, producing some of the best speculative titles of this century. Penned before the current pandemic but not published until 2020, Afterland has most of the male human population die from a plague that hit in, as it happens, 2020. The overwhelmingly female future is no women’s paradise. Our protagonist, Cole, and her son, Miles, find themselves on a nightmarish road trip, with representatives of legal and criminal enterprises in pursuit. Among her adversaries: her own sister, accompanied by a pair of mercenaries.

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Invitation to a Book Launch: The Con

How often does the Bureau get a shout-out in the acknowledgements of a novel?

The Con was released t Friday, November 13, 2020. The e-launch party will be streamed on Twitch-TV at 6:00 pm EST on November 14. Anyone can watch by clicking the link. If you create/have an account and log-in, you can participate. Has your favorite fan convention been canned due to COVID? Consider The Con: SF Fans meet the Jane Austen Society at a hotel that may also be hosting an actual alien presence. High tea, a robot battle, nerds gone wild, religious LARPERS, the Augur of Quaoar, and the quest to answer one of history’s great questions: does anything we do matter– or is it all just a con?

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Novel Review: Curious Toys

Hell Gate’s ominous white pavilion looked more like a church than a ride: a church with an enormous red devil perched on the roof… The devil was plaster and lath, but Pin’s mother still crossed herself every time she walked past.

A little late but fit for the season: this novel, released last year by much-lauded, cross-genre writer Elizabeth Hand manages to be a mystery, a postcard to Chicago’s long-gone Riverview Park, a tribute to outsider artist and writer Henry Darger, a coming-of-age story, and a tour of hell. If you don’t know Hand’s work, she has published fourteen novels, and won Nebula, World Fantasy, Shirley Jackson, and International Horror Guild Awards. She’s also written several licensed works for the Star Wars, X-Files, Twelve Monkeys, and other franchises.

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Novel Review: Rosemary’s Baby

The night was mild and balmy and they walked; and as they approached the Bramford’s blackened mass they saw on the sidewalk before it a group of twenty or so people gathered in a semicircle at the side of a parked car. Two police cars waited double-parked, their roof lights spinning red (35).

Ira Levin’s influential novel remains quite readable, and makes a devilish companion piece to the Halloween season.

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